Ozarks Mental Health Network Looks for Solutions to Community Struggles
Between 2013-15, the League of Women Voters conducted a study of the accessibility and affordability of mental healthcare services for adults in Greene county, and from there, established the Ozarks Mental Health Network to support such services.
Drs. Paul Deal and Lisa Hall from the psychology department at Missouri State University talk about their research and this network.
One finding from the study was that more than 17 percent of inmates in the Greene County jail suffer from mental illness. Deal, head of the psychology department at Missouri State, has for many years focused his research efforts on the evaluations of local problem solving courts, like the Mental Health Court.
Hall is a gerontologist. In her research, she has seen that older individuals rarely identify that they have mental health issues and note that their doctors rarely address these issues with them. If it is noted that they are experiencing mental illness, medication is usually prescribed rather than counseling services. Hall is passionate about making sure services are available to all and that the stigma continues to fade.
Though this study was local, Deal and Hall note that the issues brought forth in the report are not unique to the area.